Robert John Soulen, Jr. - A Man of Many Passions
January 6, 2016 (PO42). Robert John Soulen, Jr. succumbed to Parkinson’s disease on November 19, 2015, after more than a decade of struggle with the ailment. Robert (henceforth called “Bob”) was born in Phoenixville, PA on July 16, 1940. He attended Rutgers University and was granted a B. A. degree in physics in 1962. He was awarded a Ph. D. degree in physics by Rutgers in 1966. Bob married Rosemarie Vosseler while in graduate school.
At Rutgers, Bob was Prof. Peter Lindenfeld’s doctoral student, but he also benefitted from strong interactions with Prof. E. A. Lynton, Prof. William McLean, and Prof. Bernie Serin. Including Lindenfeld, they were known as the Rutgers Superconductivity Group. Under their tutelage, Bob became a master at making electrical and thermal transport measurements at cryogenic temperatures. This experience led Bob to accept an offer of a position in the Cryogenics Section of the Heat Division at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) in 1968.
At NBS, Bob immediately began efforts to build or obtain commercially a 3He-4He dilution refrigerator (DR) that would eventually facilitate cryogenic studies at temperatures as low as 10 millikelvin (mK). While working on his refrigerator quest, Bob collaborated with James Schooley in the development of a temperature reference device for the range 0.5 K to 7 K (ultimately to 9 K). The device contained five (later six) carefully annealed wire samples all enclosed within sensor coils; thus, the operator could monitor all of the individual transitions in one experiment. NBS registered the device as Standard Reference Material No. 767. It proved to be very popular within the cryogenics community. In 1976, a new provisional international temperature scale was created by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (the French acronym is BIPM). The NBS SRM 767 device provided five of the eleven reference points on the scale.
Once his new refrigerator was operative, Bob developed another SRM, No.768, which could be used in the same fashion as the 767 device, but with five samples selected for the 16 mK to 200 mK range. Again, the SRM 768 offered easily observable, reproducible superconductive transitions for temperature references in a compact device.
Recognizing the significance of experimental work on noise thermometry performed in the NBS Boulder cryogenics laboratory during the late 1960s, Bob spent nearly twenty years applying the technique to the NBS low-temperature program. In this work, Bob collaborated with William Fogle and Jack Colwell, who were creating a composite temperature scale that involved the melting curve of 3He and the temperature dependence of paramagnetic salt susceptibility. The trio described their work in a pair of papers during a 1992 international temperature conference: “A new cryogenic temperature scale from 0.0063 K to 0.65 K” and “A decade of absolute noise thermometry at NIST using a resistive SQUID”.
Following the meeting in 1992, the three scientists decided to pursue an absolute temperature scale that would extend deep into the millikelvin range. Their intention was to marshal all available very-low-temperature methods into one laboratory experiment, so as to minimize the level of experimental uncertainty. The results of this effort were encouraging. They recorded all of the experimental and theoretical progress in a 102-page paper that they published in the Journal of Low Temperature Physics. The paper included a thorough discussion of their resistively biased use of the Josephson junction and their experimental comparisons of temperature as derived from the SRM 768, from the SQUID-based noise thermometer, from the 1976 provisional temperature scale, and from the 3He melting-curve results. Their work provided much of the basis for the international 2000 Provisional Low-Temperature Scale from 0.9 mK to 1 K.
Bob’s scientific reputation for excellence in his research grew throughout the cryogenics community as time went on. An adept experimenter, Bob also sought an understanding of the theoretical basis for his laboratory work. He was able in many cases to extend existing theory to new laboratory regimes. Bob received the 1976 NBS E. U. Condon Award, the 1979 Department of Commerce Gold Medal (shared with James Schooley), and the 2002 American Physical Society Joseph F. Keithley Award for Advances in Measurement Science. The Keithley citation read “For developing low-temperature noise thermometry to achieve an absolute thermometer which now defines the 2000 Provisional Low-Temperature Scale between 1 mK and 1 K to an accuracy of 0.1 % and for other significant contributions to temperature measurement over a distinguished career”.
Shortly after the discovery of high-temperature superconductivity (HTS) in 1986, Bob moved to the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), although he still participated in the cryogenic thermometry effort at NBS/NIST in his “spare time”. Bob wanted to focus more intently on research in HTS. He brought with him his skills as a researcher and a leader. He quickly established a program focused first on vortex dynamics and the unusual behavior of the HTS materials in intense magnetic fields. Then, using his experience in noise thermometry, he turned to tunneling into magnetic and superconducting materials to gain a better understanding of the fundamentals of the superconducting state.
Although Bob spent the bulk of his career studying superconductivity, one of his major accomplishments in another area led to his most-cited scientific paper. Utilizing his knowledge of superconducting point contacts, he examined spin-polarized transport in magnetic metals. Motivated by a suggestion by Jeff Byers, a theory postdoc in his group, he performed a ground-breaking experiment that observed the transport of superconducting Cooper pairs into magnetic metals (Andreev scattering) that became a standard technique in the study of spin polarization in magnetic metals, including some novel materials called half magnets. Published in the journal Science, the paper, of which he was the lead author, has been cited more than 1000 times.
Bob and his colleagues also related their laboratory work to practical matters, including critical-current measurements, ac losses in superconducting tapes, and device characterization in the high-temperature superconducting space experiments (HTSSE).
Because of his inherent managerial ability, Bob was asked to head the NRL Material Physics Branch, with responsibility for directing research in magnetic materials, sensor materials, and materials synthesis and characterization. Administration was not Bob’s “cup of tea”, but his leadership in the multidisciplinary physics area was successful over a period of several years before he decided to return to his laboratory studies.
Bob’s calm demeanor masked his many passions, his drive, and a well-developed sense of humor. Besides physics, he enjoyed softball, fly fishing, fine wines, and good cigars. He shared his hobbies with family and friends, especially fishing and softball. His sense of humor once brought him to make a presentation while wearing hip waders during a laboratory review. The program manager had emphasized “come as you are” dress for the review, and Bob took her at her word.
For years, Bob and several colleagues enjoyed running at lunchtime. These events came to be known as “Bob runs” because the group often slowed to a walk while discussing family matters, recollections from his trips to China and Finland, details of tying fishing lures, and, of course, physics. In a single “run”, it was not unusual for the conversation to include electron-phonon interactions, woolly bears (fuzzy caterpillars), and Voltaire.
Bob is survived by his wife of 52 years, Rosemarie, by two daughters, Stephanie Harrington and Heidi Clark, and by three grandsons, Michael, Trevor, and Henry. In the early 1970s, Bob and Rosemarie lost an infant son, Robert John Soulen III.
As noted above, Bob contracted Parkinson’s disease more than a decade ago, but he refused to capitulate to the ailment even as its symptoms became debilitating. An article in the Washington Post (June 29, 2010) described Bob’s devotion to softball during the later stages of his affliction. He used a walker to approach home plate in games played in the 60-and-older Senior Montgomery County Softball League; he was a designated hitter in the lineups for both teams. Even as the Parkinson’s disease progressed to its final stages, Bob wrote two books (self-published on Amazon) about his passion for softball and fly fishing.
Bob also continued to exercise his hobby of tying fishing flies, using feathers obtained from birds. The feathers also found places on the covers of specialty cigar boxes that he decorated for friends, and as components of artistic bird montages. We will not soon forget his scientific abilities, his friendship, his wit, his passion for life, and his courage in the face of certain death. We grieve for his family, but we rejoice in the life that he led.
These notes were written by Jim Schooley, Don Gubser, Mike Osofsky, Boris Nadgorny, Bill Fogle, and Stu Wolf. We thank Keith Martin, librarian at NIST, for providing the reference to the Washington Post.-
Herbert Bousack, 1953 - 2015
December 15, 2015 (PO41). Dr. Eng. Herbert Bousack was born on June 10, 1953, in Aachen, Germany, and it was there he succumbed to a rather sudden cancer on November 13, 2015. He completed his doctorate in mechanical engineering in 1981. After graduation, he became a member of staff at the Research Center Juelich (FZJ), Germany, and was employed there until his untimely death.
Herbert’s contribution to applied superconductivity was limited to the period 1990 to 1999, but it was significant. He organized and led the SQUID development and applications group, which under his guidance grew fast to become one of the two leading project of the whole FZJ and one of the most successful such activities worldwide. It concentrated on the development of high-Tc (HTS) rf SQUIDs and their application in three areas of biomagnetism, nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of metallic structures and geophysical exploration. In these years, several of the then “world’s first” originated under Herbert's direction, including both the matured HTS rf SQUID in the form it is practiced today and the first application of SQUIDs to airplane structure testing, which was licensed to a renowned airplane engine manufacturer and used in practice. All application projects were conducted in direct collaboration with industry or test organizations. Reorganization of the institute, in which all these activities were located, terminated most of the SQUID activities in or immediately after 1999.
Herbert’s personal technical involvement focused mostly on NDE of steel-reinforced concrete bridges. That specific development program was immensely successful, but eventually not implemented for cost reasons: the data interpretation methodology conceived in this project was so effective that is allowed to eventually replace the mobile SQUID systems by less sensitive and cheaper room-temperature sensors.
As a team leader, Herbert excelled by his extraordinary ability to communicate, motivate and create a team spirit with a special human sensitivity and touch in personal relationships. In private life, he was, among others, a passionate biker and active friend of animals.
Herbert Bousack will be well remembered and deeply missed by his former collaborators and colleagues. Let him rest in peace.
Alex Braginski, H. Joachim Krause, and Yi Zhang-
Professor Harry Jones – Scientist and Educator
October 6, 2015 (PO39). Professor Harry (Henry) Jones CSci, CEng, CPhys, FInstP, MIET, who has died aged 70 on 24 August 2015, was a Professor of Condensed Matter Physics at the Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford University. He worked there for 44 years until his retirement in 2012. He led the High Magnetic Fields and Superconductivity group for nearly 30 years which was de facto the UK National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and during that time supervised 14 PhD students and 10 post-doctoral researchers. He was an inspirational colleague and researcher. At Oxford University, his main research interests were in High Magnetic Fields, Superconductivity, and Cryogenics. As a research supervisor and leader, he brought with him an intense curiosity and drive to discover new and useful science, as well as a strong personal warmth and good humor.
Harry was born on 14 February 1945. He grew up in Lincolnshire and attended The Havelock Grammar School in Grimsby. He was recruited by the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell and after his training, posted to the Electronics and Applied Physics Division. In 1968, he joined the Magnet Group at Oxford University under Professor Kurti, FRS. Harry helped to equip the laboratory with superconducting magnets that including the celebrated multi-user mobile 16.5 T magnet system that was the world's first superconducting magnet above 15 T as well as the world's first operational hybrid magnet. Harry was one of Europe's leading scientists producing pulsed magnetic fields. In 1987, he pioneered the development of a unique high strength composite copper and steel conductor that broke the 50-tesla barrier for pulsed fields and eventually lead to the world's first non-destructive measurements in magnetic fields above 75 Tesla. His many invited seminars and fellowships enabled international colleagues to invite him to help develop the strategy for higher pulsed fields in Europe, Japan, and the USA. He was always interested in developing novel difficult measurements and was recognized as one of the world's experts for accurate measurements of the critical current density (Jc(B, T)) and induced resistive transition (IRT) of both low temperature and high-temperature superconductors.
Harry served on numerous technical committees and produced over 150, refereed scientific publications. From 2005, he served for a decade as Chairman of the British Cryogenics Council and served on the committee of the UK Magnetics Society from 2010. These interests echoed the strong collaborations with industry he pursued throughout his career. He was also Chairman of The Scientific and Advisory Committee HMFL at Dresden and the Europe-US 100 T council.
Harry is remembered with affection by his friends and colleagues and will be greatly missed. He is survived by Linda, his wife and lifetime love and companion.-
William Brownfield Fowler Remembered
October 13, 2015 (PO40). Dr. William Brownfield Fowler passed away peacefully in St. Charles, Illinois, on May 3, 2015, aged 91. He was an internationally recognized expert in the fields of high-energy particle physics, superconducting magnets, cryogenic bubble chambers, and diffusion cloud chambers.
Born on March 22, 1924 in Owensboro, KY, he graduated from Lafayette High School in Lexington, Kentucky, after which he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps during WW-II and was trained as a radio operator. He obtained a B.A. in physics from University of Kentucky in Lexington in 1947. In 1951, he received a Ph.D. in physics from the Washington University, St. Louis, MO, after researching cosmic rays at the Climax Mine in Colorado. Next, he went to the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, Long Island, NY, to perform post-doctoral research that used diffusion cloud chambers to discover "strange" particles at BNLs Cosmotron. He then went to the University of California, Berkeley, as an assistant professor, 1955 - 1959. At Berkeley he and others used newly developed bubble chamber technology to discover and study new "strange" particles, such as Cascade- baryons. After that academic stint he took a staff position at BNL where he remained until 1969. While at BNL, he and others constructed the 80 inch, cryogenic-hydrogen bubble chamber, which was eventually used to discover the Omega- particle in 1963. In 1969 he took a position at the newly opened National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), in Batavia, Illinois, where he remained until he retired in 2002 at the age of 78. He further maintained scientific connection with the Lab until February 2015.
Bill Fowler is perhaps best known at Fermilab for his work leading the construction of the National Accelerator Laboratory 15-foot bubble chamber, the largest in the world. He was also a leader in the effort to build the Tevatron and in the development of its superconducting magnets.
He was an enthusiastic photographer who loved the outdoors. His wildflower photographs were beautiful reminders of hikes in the Sierra Nevada, the Rockies, or the Appalachian mountains. He also enjoyed traveling, backpacking, bicycling, canoeing, birdwatching, and skiing. He was a skilled woodworker, an avid bridge player, loved the arts, and regularly attended performances by the Chicago Symphony, the Lyric Opera. He also enjoyed watching plays, and regularly went to thespian festivals around the country and in Canada. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth Fowler, daughters and grandchildren.
(Remembrance after New York Times obituary, May 21-22, 2015, and Cryogenic Society of America “Cold Facts”, courtesy Laurie Huget, Exec. Director)-
Viktor Efimovich Keilin, 1933 -2014
December 5, 2014 (PO38). Professor Viktor Keilin passed away on 24 November, 2014 at the age of 81. For more than 50 years, he was in charge of technical applications of superconductivity at the leading Russian research organization, the I.V. Kurchatov Institute for Atomic Energy.
Viktor Efimovich Keilin was born 26 February 1933 in Kharkov (then USSR). In 1957 he graduated from the Moscow Bauman State Technical University with specialization in cryogenics. After graduation, he joined the P.L. Kapitsa Institute for Physical Problems. His PhD thesis was dedicated to cryogenics for superconductivity.
Prof. Keilin joined the Kurchatov Institute in 1961. As he mentioned many times: “I was the very first person in USSR hired just to work in applied superconductivity” His supervisors were a vice-president of the USSR Academy of Science, M.D. Millionschikov, and academician E.K. Zavoisky known for the discovery of the electron paramagnetic resonance. From the very beginning, Viktor was involved in a new area at that time: applied superconductivity. His scientific ingenuity, technical creativity, dedication, and wisdom resulted in outstanding achievements. The Kurchatov team developed under his leadership classic cryogenic configurations for large superconducting magnets, including current leads that can carry high currents, and established principles for designing partially-stabilized superconducting magnets. Independent of the Oak Ridge team, he introduced the cable-in-conduit approach. Ideas of Prof. Keilin were successfully demonstrated in the world-first tokamak T-7 with superconducting coil system for generation of the toroidal field (1979), and in tokamak T-15 with Nb3Sn windings (1988). With upgrades and modifications, principles developed by him and his associates are used in designing superconducting magnets for ITER.
Viktor was always dreaming about efficient, easy-maintenance, relatively inexpensive superconducting magnets for diverse applications. The Kurchatov team built hundreds of magnets for gyrotrons, wigglers, high-field applications, etc. He lead developments that were used in such unique facilities as SST-1 (India), HT-7 (China), KSTAR (Korea), ATLAS (CERN). He inspired Russian efforts in HTS including development of superconducting transmission and distribution cables, fault current limiters, HTS leads for collider NICA (Dubna, Russia) and other projects. He was awarded two very prestigious USSR State Prizes, in 1976 and 1988.
Viktor Efimovich Keilin was also famous for attracting cohorts of young scientists to applied superconductivity. His positive attitude towards life, inexhaustible enthusiasm and energy, endless optimism and sense of humor attracted a lot of young people into the field. He had a map where he marked countries where his former students have been working. These included Russia, Ukraine, USA, Germany, Japan, England, Netherlands and many others. He was a professor at the Moscow Institute of Engineering Physics and supervised dozens of PhD students. For more than 30 years, he lead the annual school of superconductivity in Protvino near Moscow. It is not easy to find a Russian scientist or engineer in the field of superconductivity who did not attend this school at least once. Most of his students have been staying in the field during their whole career.
All of us who knew this outstanding man feel a great personal loss. At the same time, memory of Prof. Keilin will continue encouraging us towards new achievements in applications of superconductivity.
Colleagues at I.V. Kurchatov Institute and M. Parizh, GE, Schenectady, NY, USA-
Koichi Kitazawa Remembered
December 12, 2014 (PO37U). Koichi Kitazawa, a materials scientist prominent in high-Tc superconductivity, former president of Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and president of Tokyo City University, passed away on September 26, 2014, at the age of 71. He was born on April 17, 1943 at Iiyama in Nagano prefecture, Japan. After obtaining the BS degree in chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science of the University of Tokyo, in 1966 he became graduate student in Professor Mukaibo’s laboratory, Department of Industrial Chemistry of the Faculty of Engineering at the same university, and got his master degree there in 1968. Finally, in 1972, he earned the D.Sc. degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Materials Science. In 1973, he joined the University of Tokyo as research associate, lecturer (~1979), associate professor (~1982) and professor (~1987 to 2002). Early in the 2nd decade of his 30 years career at the University of Tokyo, he started studies on superconductivity of Ba(Bi,Pb)O3 at Professor Tanaka’s laboratory and as the first in the world verified high-Tc superconductivity at and above 30 K occurring in La-Ba-Cu-O system, thus confirming the discovery of Bednorz and Mueller.
The identification of superconducting phase (La,Ba)2CuO4 in November, 1986, was attained through the collaboration between Prof. Fueki’s and Prof. Tanaka’s laboratories. Soon after a series of epoch-making experiments, he triggered so-called “High-Tc fever” by reporting at the MRS 1986 Fall Meeting, held in Boston, USA, on observed evidence of superconductivity (the Meissner effect) in the high-Tc cuprate. Since the (La,Ba)2CuO4 could be synthesized easily by the conventional solid-state reaction in air, a large number of researchers all over the world immediately started exploring new high-Tc superconductors, resulting in discoveries of numerous superconducting cuprates.
Subsequently, still at the University of Tokyo, Professor Kitazawa had been leading studies on new superconductors, superconductivity mechanisms and vortex physics in high-Tc superconductors. In addition, he promoted a new scientific field, “magneto-science” for paramagnetic materials , using cryogen-free superconducting magnets equipped with current leads made of cuprate superconductors.
After moving to JST in 2002, he had supported many scientific projects leading to great successes, such as IPS cells by Professor Yamanaka’s  group and the discovery of iron-based superconductors by Professor Hosono’s group. After stepping down from JST presidency, he chaired “The Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Nuclear Accident” in 2011-2012. Besides his great achievements on high-Tc superconductors, and management of scientific organizations, he kept emphasized importance of giving dreams to young generations through advanced science and technologies; he found time to hold many scientific seminars for students at junior high schools and high schools. He moved to Tokyo City University as its president in October, 2013, and started new programs for students of the university, fueled by his enthusiasm for developing good human resources and having big dreams for the future world. His most regrettable sudden passing away occurred when implementation of his dreams was just beginning.
Jun-ichi Shimoyama (Department of Applied Chemistry, The University of Tokyo)
1This term encompasses studies of effects of strong magnetic fields on various processes involving inorganic crystals or organic and biological paramagnetic molecules. An example of the latter is the effect on the growth of various plants.
2The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Shinya Yamanaka, a stem cell researcher, for his ground-breaking research on IPS (Induced Pluripotent Stem) cells.-
Werner Weber Remembered
October 10, 2014 (PO36). Werner Weber, professor emeritus of theoretical physics at the Technical University of Dortmund (TUD), Germany, died suddenly and unexpectedly at his home on 3rd of July 2014.
Werner was born on 6th of August, 1945, in Bad Urach, Germany, and studied physics at the Munich Technical University, 1964-1970. Two years later (1972) he earned his PhD on “Lattice Dynamics in Hard Materials and Transition Metals”, a broad subject absorbing him for most of his scientific career. In August 1972 he joined Max Planck Institute of Solid State Physics in Stuttgart, Germany, where he remained until 1977. His study of that period on "Adiabatic bond charge model for phonons in diamond, Si, Ge, and α-Sn“ (1977) has been one of his most cited publications [i]. It appeared in print during his two-years-long research stint at Bell Laboratories, where he collaborated closely with Chandra Varma on reformulating the problem of lattice dynamics in transition metals and applying to understand the phonon anomalies discovered more than 15 years earlier by neutron scattering. They showed that the traditional views of phonon anomalies as due to nesting, (W. Kohn and A. Overhauser), needed a serious modification. The modification was the momentum-dependence introduced by local field effects. They found an easy way to include them by using moving tight binding orbitals [ii]. When Werner went back to Germany, he extended this method to various transition metal compounds. All this resulted in a firm quantitative understanding of electron-phonon effects in strong-coupling superconductors.
In 1977 Werner assumed a tenured position the Research Center Karlsruhe and subsequently, in 1983, earned his “habilitation” (a DSc equivalent) at the Karlsruhe Technical University. In mid-1980s (probably 1985-1987) he went again to Bell Labs, where, among other projects, he worked with Varma and a graduate student, Lisa Randall, on application of the Gutzwiller methods to multi-band problems, such as heavy-Fermion compounds [iii] and with L. Mattheiss and by himself on high temperature superconductivity, both widely cited studies [iv]. This was immediately after the discovery of high critical temperatures in cuprates, which exceeded theoretical expectations based on the electron-phonon interaction. Soon thereafter, in 1989, Werner was appointed to the “Chair of Theoretical Physics II” at TUD, which he occupied until his retirement in 2010.
The overall goal of Werner’s efforts was in that period to combine the band theory with the Gutzwiller’s many particle method, which satisfactorily describes 3d and 4d electrons in transition metals. Indeed, in 1996, he and his PhD student Joerg Buenemann, succeeded in a generalization for multiband systems. Werner’s last work in correlations physics was to lay formal basis for the Gutzweiler theory of density functional. His fervent hope was its further development and application.
In 2009 Werner became interested in climate change and in 2010 contributed a publication on "Strong signature of the active Sun in 100 years of terrestrial insolation data", proposing that formation of aerosols due to cosmic radiation contributes to solar energy delivery to Earth’s surface thus decisively affecting the climate [v]. This work, representing a minority point of view, was seriously debated in the climatologist community.
At TUD, Werner was an engaged faculty member, twice a Dean, and in his last years there also interim Director of the TUD Center of Synchrotron Radiation (DELTA), a research and training facility. After his retirement he remained very involved, especially in shaping and promoting a new TUD Bachelor and Master study in medical physics. This was prompted in part by his participation in a successful industrial venture (Cryoelectra) developing and manufacturing critical components for superconducting synchrotron accelerator systems designed for clinical proton therapy of cancer.
His colleagues and collaborators remember him as warm hearted person and a scientist never satisfied by standard answers while striving at uncovering the real correlations. He was a great mentor, wonderful colleague and friend. We’ll all miss him.
Florian Gebhard, Frithjof Anders, Jörg Fink, Ulrich Eckern, Roser Valenti at TUD, Chandra Varma at UC Riverside, USA, and Alex Braginski at Research Center Juelich, Germany
iW. Weber, Phys. Rev. B , 15, 4789 (1977).
iiC.M. Varma and W. Weber, Phys. Rev. B, 19, 6142 (1979).
iiiC.M. Varma, W. Weber and L.J. Randall, Phys. Rev. B, 33, 1015 (1986).
ivW. Weber, Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 1371 (1987).
v W. Weber, Ann. Phys. 552,6, 372-381 (2010).-
June 12, 2014 (PO30). Dr. Hiroshi Maeda, the discoverer of Bi-Sr-Ca-Cu-O high-Tc superconducting cuprate compounds, passed away on May 24, 2014, at the age of 78. His contribution to applied superconductivity community is enormous. Especially, his discovery of Bi2Sr2Ca2Cu3Ox (Bi-2223) and Bi2Sr2CaCu2Oy (Bi-2212) opened the door to many high-temperature superconducting (HTS) applications, such as transmission cables, motors, high field magnets, and so on.
He was born in Fukui, Japan (1936). After finishing a B.S. in 1958 at the Department of Physics, Kanazawa University, he joined the National Research Institute for Metals (now NIMS) and started his research on magnetic materials. His major research achievement in this field was the development of high performance thin films for magnetic disks. He received a doctorate in science from Hiroshima University in 1971. His first involvement in superconducting and cryogenic technology was his research on magnetic refrigeration materials and systems, beginning in 1981. In 1985, he was promoted to group leader of the Superconducting and Cryogenic Materials Research Group and began research on superconducting materials.
The discovery of HTS oxide stimulated his own research as a material scientist and he started exploring new HTS compounds, which he has been synthesizing by himself. By the end of 1987 he succeeded in synthesizing Bi-Sr-Ca-Cu-O and found superconductivity at 105 K. His article reporting on this new HTS family was published at the beginning of 1988. Since then many researchers worldwide followed his path pursued both fundamental and application studies of these and similar compounds.
His discovery of Bi-cuprates high-Tc was honored with many prizes, such as the Tsukuba Prize (1989), Matthias Prize (1991), and other. In 1993, the Tsukuba Magnet Laboratory (TML) was founded as a part of NIMS and he became TML’s director. In the same year, he assumed the additional position of a professor at the Graduate School of Pure and Applied Science, University of Tsukuba (operated jointly by NIMS and University of Tsukuba).
After retiring from NIMS in 1996, he continued his research and educational work as a professor at the Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University (1996–99) and Kitami Institute of Technology (1999–2002). He also made a stint at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Tallahassee, USA (2001–03).
He contributed to applied superconductivity community activities also by serving as a Board Member of the International Cryogenic Materials Conference and the Cryogenics and Superconductivity Society of Japan.
His private passion was tennis and he was, indeed, a very good player. He could be found on a tennis court most every weekend.
One day in 1983, he played tennis with the Japanese crown prince family when they visited Tsukuba. He then paired with the princess Michiko (the present empress).-
James H. Parker, Jr. Passed Away at 87
June 6, 2014 (PO29). James (Jim) H. Parker, Jr., was born in Bakersfield, California, USA, on December 4, 1926 and passed away on April 15, 2014. He received a B.S. and Ph.D. in Physics at the University of California, Berkeley in 1949 and 1954 respectively. He was a member of staff at the Westinghouse Research Labs (later R&D Center) in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, from 1953 until retirement in 1985. Up to 1970, he carried out experimental and theoretical work over a broad range of physics problems ranging from the motion of electrons in gases, color centers in alkali halides, Raman scattering from metals and semiconductors and nonlinear properties of crystals using optical techniques. In particular, Jim was a pioneer in the use of the recently developed laser for Raman spectroscopy, first with He-neon lasers and later with argon ion lasers. He was the first to use this technique for the study of lattice vibrational modes in semiconductors and metals, including localized vibrational modes in Si-Ge alloys. Because commercial ion lasers were not available at the time (1960s), he became expert in developing technologies of new fabrication techniques for such lasers. In that decade became one of six directors of the R&D center, each responsible for a broader area of research and development.
In 1970, Jim was given special assignment to manage the Cryogenics and Superconductivity Department. This group worked on superconducting materials, theory and experimental work on ac losses of Superconductors and large-scale applications of superconductivity. The emphasis was on the development of ac generators with low-temperature superconducting field winding for military and power systems applications. This was a worldwide pioneering work, cooperative with the Westinghouse Electro-Mechanical Division (EMD), which also provided a staff of engineers for the design, development and testing of the electrical machinery. This combined effort was crowned with the first successful demonstration of a 60 Hz 5MW alternator for electric utilities and a high-speed, four-pole 5 MV, 400 Hz Generator for the US Air Force.
See RN26 for details on these and other achievements of Jim’s Department, which was then among the world leaders in industrial research into superconductivity, fundamental and applied. Four of us (RB, AB, GW and MW) had the privilege to have Jim as our supervisor during good parts of our Westinghouse careers and we remember him most fondly as a kind, insightful, helpful and friendly boss. Two of us (DF and JM) collaborated with him and have equally fond memories.
After retirement from Westinghouse in 1985, Jim continued his engineering work as a private contractor for Westinghouse and several other local companies. Here his work ranged from developing simulation programs for linear motors and rail guns, the electrical design of high speed alternators with high temperature superconducting windings, calculation of Hall current losses for composite Al conductors at 20 K and calculation of the end turn forces in SSC dipole magnets. Such work he continued almost until his death. Jim has authored or co authored about 50 journal and conference papers. He was Fellow of the American Physical Society and Life Member of IEEE.
In his private life, Jim was a music lover. He played bassoon for the Pittsburgh Savoyards and was also a long-standing member of the Pittsburgh Woodwind Quintet. He loved jazz and classical music, physics, electronics, woodworking, and metal working. In 2009 he lost his beloved wife Cathy, and this was for him an especially hard event. They were both staunch supporters of local charities, including, for example, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. They left behind two children, Lynn and David, and two grandchildren.
Richard Blaugher, Alex Braginski, Don Feldman, John Mole, David Parker, George Wagner and Michael Walker.-
Olga L. Polushenko, 1942 – 2014
June 30, 2014 (PO32). Olga Leonidowna Polushenko was born on October 8th, 1942 in the Voronesh region and passed away after a severe illness on March 4th, 2014. She graduated from the famous Moscow State Technical University (named after N.E. Bauman, Russian acronym MGTU), in 1965 and earned her Ph.D. degree (Russian “candidate of sciences”) in 1973 for a study on hot pressing of ferrites, also from MGTU. While her early research was in powder metallurgy of electronic and magnetic materials, she became deeply involved in R&D of superconducting materials since the advent of high-Tc superconducting (HTS) cuprates in 1986. Olga remained at MGTU and became there a “docent” (equivalent to Associate Professor) combining teaching and research activities.
Over the past 28 years, her interest concentrated on bulk HTS technology, suitable for fabrication of high-strength cryogenic magnets. The excellent properties of her bulk materials enabled the construction of first Russian HTS superconducting motors with excellent characteristics. Recently, she made a major contribution to the development of superconducting bearings for the kinetic energy storage (under a “Rosatom” program).
Olga authored over 40 scientific publications and had 6 Russian patents to her credit. Her friends remember her not only as a scientist and “a patriot of Russian superconductivity”, but also as a remarkable and wonderful person. Many remember her also as an excellent culinary chef, especially remembered by her unforgettable tort cakes. She’ll remain in the hearts of her many collaborators and friends. Olga didn’t leave behind any family.
(Written by SNF based in part on an obituary in Russian published by N. Nizhel’skiy for friends of Olga Poluschenko in the online Superconductors in Electric Power Industry published by the Moscow Kurchatov Institute, a Russian National Research Center, http://www.nrcki.ru/ and http://perst.isssph.kiae.ru/supercond/news.php?id=1109).-
Hans HIllmann Remembered
September 10, 2014 (PO35). Hans Hillmann, a prominent superconducting materials scientist and consummate artist, passed away on February 6, 2014, at almost 92. He was born on February 15, 1922 in Ronneburg, Thuringia, Germany. Shortly after WW II, he started his career initially as a teacher of art, mathematics and physics (1946-1956), while nearly simultaneously studying physics as an extern at the Technical University of Dresden, Saxony, Germany (1952-1957). Upon graduating with a diploma, he became there a Scientific Assistant at the Institute for X-Ray Science and Metal Physics.
In 1959 Hans successfully moved from East Germany to the West and immediately got hired by Vacuumschmelze GmbH (VAC) in Hanau, West Germany, to work in their R&D laboratory.VAC was then a prominent manufacturer of high quality specialty metals and alloys, especially soft magnetic alloys. Shortly thereafter, in 1961, Gene Kunzler of Bell Labs demonstrated high critical current at 8 tesla in Nb3Sn and the first worldwide “gold rush” into fabricating superconducting wires of more ductile alloys began, first of NbZr soon superseded by NbTi. Naturally, Vacuumschmelze joined the fray and so Hans got involved into superconductivity of materials and conductors, over the years making and publishing multiple important contributions to the science and technology of NbZr, NbTi and Nb3Sn. He worked on these over the rest of his scientific career. Nevertheless, the breadth of his interest and the experience with difficult to process NbZr led Hans to contribute also in other areas.
As an example can serve - developed by him - the first nonmagnetic watch springs with temperature-independent E modulus, which found application in expensive mechanical watches. Soon after, the technology of such springs fell in oblivion due to the rapid spread of quartz watches. Only decades later, with Hans long retired, very expensive mechanical watches had their renaissance and Swiss manufacturers were desperate to find a source of appropriate springs. Hans was the only remaining repository of spring know-how. He faced the challenge, jumped into action and reconstituted the technology. Today, a very expensive Swiss watch is likely to contain a spring "Made by Hans Hillmann".
In 1974 he defended his doctoral dissertation on "Micro-Structural Principles of Flux Pinning in NbTi" with Prof. W. Buckel as advisor at the Technical University of Karlsruhe, and in the same year was awarded the prestigious Tammann Medal by the German Metallurgy Society. That award was for his pioneering work in the field of hard (Type II) superconductors. Hans retired in 1988, but continued publishing and consulting while simultaneously pursuing his artistic activities as painter and exhibitor at art galleries and museums.
Most remarkable was Hans’s gift to be able to see any problem as a whole with all its ramifications and extrapolations into the future. He participated in many European projects and toward the end of his career he was responsible for all the superconducting R&D activity at VAC. During the more than 26 years of his work in this area, his main focus - next to performing basic research on high-current and high-field superconductor technology - was to transform laboratory results into technically usable NbTi and Nb3Sn commercial products. He contributed largely to the early stages of industrial manufacturing of superconductors at VAC. Particularly vital was his insistence on understanding technical superconductors in the complex nanostructured forms in which they had to be used. He was a delightful colleague, not at all narrow-minded in any commercial sense, because he always seemed motivated by the belief that better superconductors would increase the market for all. This spirit certainly made VAC one of the leading companies worldwide, a situation still true today decades after his retirement when it is now owned by Bruker EAS, but still at Hanau, Germany.
Hans’s art gene was nurtured by his early professional activity of math, physics and art teacher, as documented by his exceptional drawings and sketches of experimental equipment. The esthetics of mathematics and superconductor physics was visualized in his multiple paintings inspired by images of physical effects.
Hans has been an exceptional personality in the superconductivity community. To have him among us was a special gift. We’ll cherish his memory.
Colleagues and friends at Bruker, David Larbalestier at NHMFL and Alex Braginski at Research Center Juelich-
Nicola Sacchetti, 1936 - 2014
June 24, 2014 (PO31). Nicola Sacchetti was born in Florence (Italy) on April 5th, 1936 and died in Frascati (Italy) on the 1st of February 2014. He will be remembered as one of the pioneers in applied superconductivity, not only in Italy and Europe, but also in the U.S. and Japan. His ability in communicating knowledge and enthusiasm to young researchers made him one of the best teachers one could have met.
Born in Florence in 1936, he graduated in Physics at Genoa University in 1960. In 1962, soon after the completion of his master thesis, he joined the Magnet Group of the Frascati National Laboratory in Frascati, coordinated at that time by the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics, INFN.
His initial scientific activity, until 1970, was already devoted to physics of superconductivity, specifically the tunneling effect. He was among the first to develop tunnel junctions in Italy. Independently of it created a prototype installation for the production of Nb3Sn tape conductor based on liquid tin diffusion. In the same years he became involved in the completion of several superconducting magnets, among which the Nb3Sn solenoid able to produce the magnetic field of 11T in a volume then large enough for experimental purposes. In the following years, Nicola also started efforts to ignite interest in applied superconductivity at Italian industries such as Ansaldo and LMI.
In 1976 Nicola was appointed Director of Superconductivity Laboratory in the Fusion Department of CNEN (now ENEA) - in the frame of the EURATOM Association - and exerted that function until 1989. In this period he proposed the construction of the test facility SULTAN, to be built in collaboration with SIN (now Paul Scherrer Institute, PSI) at Villigen, Switzerland. This important step was the starting point of his and the ENEA Superconductivity Lab’s close and fruitful collaboration with Italian industries in the realization of large scale projects in the field of applied superconductivity. That brought these industries into deep involvement in the construction of important international experimental operations such as the LHC accelerator system and currently the fusion demonstrator ITER.
In 1974 Nicola became member of the CERN Machine Advisory Committee for S.P.S. In 1976 he became deputy member of the Advisory Group of Fusion Technology of Euratom, which had a role in the approval of the Tore-Supra tokamak project realized in Cadarache, France. In 1994 was appointed as Scientific Advisor for the Fusion Department in ENEA. In 1995 was appointed by MURTS (Italian Department for University, Research and Education) as consultant for the evaluation of large scientific projects in the field of cryogenics and applied superconductivity (such as ICARUS and a prototype model of ATLAS). He also contributed to the applied superconductivity community as member of International Organizing Committee of the MT conference.
Nicola had a strong passion for watercolor painting and some of his fine pictures are adorning the houses of most of his colleagues.